How To Make Old Clothing Pieces Feel New Again

The ultimate anti-haul…

Fancy saving your summer spending for holidays and multiple rounds of Aperol Spritz? Yeah me too. Fun fact: At our wedding last year Aperol was the first alcohol to run out and my sister had to make a mad-dash to Tescos halfway through the evening to get more of it and a bottle of milk because my guy mates insisted on plying my Dad with White Russians. At the end of the evening my Dad insisting on high-fiving every single person TWICE before he left. Anyway, back to the point of today’s post. Instead of buying new items and scratching the itch to haul, sometimes it’s nice to have a play around with what you’ve got hanging up in your wardrobe already. More money in your pocket for Aperol Spritz and a possible jaunt abroad and the feeling in your belly from buying new things when you actually haven’t. SWEET. Who doesn’t want that, eh? It’s easier than you think to make old items feel new again, so here are six ways to achieve it…

Why a capsule wardrobe rocks. If you’re unsure of the whole capsule wardrobe thing, then have a watch of my most recent style video to see how it works. Yours doesn’t have to be as capsule as mine or it could be more so, but the act of packing unseasonal clothing away and just having your current clothing in full view and ready to pick, means that by the time it’s ready to unpack it all the following year, it feels exciting and new to you you again. Less shopping overall because between re-jigs there’s not much need for it and because you’re buzzing to rediscover your old favourites when the weather is right. You in?

Challenge yourself. Take a weekend afternoon to have a fashion show in your bedroom. It’s something that along with miming into a body spray can and pretending to do homework, that was practically all I did as a 12 year old. Get into some underwear that you feel fab in and then try to create as many different new outfit combinations as possible. Test them out in the mirror, make sure they’re comfortable, make sure you can walk around and sit down in them and if they pass all the tests then snap a mirror selfie on your phone which can act as an index next time you’re unsure of what to wear. I find this such a handy tool to use for mornings when I need to rush out the door and otherwise would go for a t-shirt and jeans. It’s like a catalogue of your very own.

Have a search. Google is my best friend whatever the dilemma, but in terms of finding new outfit formulas it’s extremely helpful. Of course you have the obvious spot of Pinterest to use as a stating point. Type in ‘leopard print shirt’ to the search bar and within about five seconds you’ll be served a 100+ ways to wear it. The danger here is that you’ll find a way to wear it that features something that you don’t have in your wardrobe – AVERT YOUR EYES! – but hopefully there are formulas amongst them that are close enough to items you own already. If your search isn’t too fruitful then have a general peruse on Google and see how retailers are currently merchandising pieces that are similar to yours.

Layering is key. You’ve heard this one before, but a clever bit of layering can make all the difference and be a helpful hand in finding new ways to wear old items. A camisole over a t-shirt and tucked into jeans or a wide-leg trouser is a fashion blogger favourite that translates well into the real world. Or give a t-shirt a whirl under a slip dress. The trick is to keep the t-shirts as thin as possible and try to find pieces to layer over the top which are a tad thicker, so they can hide the excess fabric. Got yourself a pair of dungarees? Pop an old shirt underneath to find a never-worn-before combination like I did here. TA-DAH!

Scrunch it up. You’d be amazed what a change a bit of scrunching can make. For jeans or trousers a turned up cuff makes a full-length into a cropped length and is great for the summer, or when you’re pairing whatever you’re wearing on your bottom half with heels to make your pins look sky high. A rolled up sleeve instantly makes whatever top or shirt you’re wearing not so sweat-inducing in the sun. I love a blazer or jacket sleeve rolled up too, but due to the thick fabric I often find myself spending the day constantly pushing them back up. To combat this roll a rubber band or a hair tie on your arm to elbow length over the top of your sleeve and fashion your jacket to cover it for longer-lasting sleeve rolling.

Knot what you think. Hands up if approximately one third of your wardrobe consists of shirts? O.K, fab – well this one is for you. As the heat has crept up I’ve found the shirt contingent on my rails start to feel a little too formal and workwear-ish to reach for at the weekend, but here’s how to make them feel more casual and summery. Instead of buttoning it up and leaving it free or tucked into jeans, how about knotting it at the bottom and fashioning it as a pseudo-cropped blouse. MUCH more hot weather appropriate, right? Knot it up, tuck the ends underneath the knot and bask in your updated outfit that you didn’t even spend a penny on.

Photos by Lauren Shipley

*Sign up to my monthly newsletter ‘An Edited Life’ here*